Friday, January 6, 2012
Be An Encourager
If you then be risen with Christ,
seek those things which are above,
where Christ sits on the right hand of God.
Set your affection on things above,
not on things on the earth.
For you are dead,
and your life is hid with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3
Are you feeling down? Then you only need to think up!
I must admit … this past month has been most discouraging for me. My answer to these feelings was to study the things of Heaven, God’s Word, and the miracles of Christ. He lifted me up. This is the only way that we can defeat the devil’s plan of discouragement.
Praise God ... my encouragement has been restored.
Most will agree that these are discouraging times. There is so much going on all around us that will bring us down, if we allow it.
The news coming in from all directions is one big downer.
But is that really true? No, No, NO! That is the lie that our enemy wants us to us focus on. That’s it: keep us focused on the news of the day … this is always his strategy to bring us down. His plan is to rob us of our peace, our joy, and our encouragement. But, to the contrary, there is also good news … that never ends!!!
So, what are we Americans to do, if we are to win against our enemy?
Think about it.
How do others react to a person who is an encourager in times of discouragement?
Well that’s easy; don’t you think?
People are naturally drawn to those who lift them up when they are down.
When their mind is focused on their problems which appear to be hopeless, they are brought down further, and they become negative.
On the other hand, everyone wants to see the light in the darkness.
Everyone wants to be encouraged.
People are drawn to encouraging words like a magnet.
That is the news for our politicians who are looking for the way to rally the people around them.
When you are an encourager, you give others hope, you give others courage to stand against the problems of the day.
The people want to rally around the good, the clean, the pure, the powerful, and the positive message of an encouraging leader.
But they don’t want false promises from a phony politician.
So, why can’t these politicians seem to capture the minds of the people, the way Churchill did; or Reagan did; or Obama did, three years ago? Why can’t people today unite and stand behind one person and move forward to victory for America? There is a big difference between false hopes (hope and change) and the eternal truth. And the people are wary of lies and political rhetoric.
When a leader puts a positive spin on a message that lacks substance ... to support his words, this will not work the second time around, with intelligent people … not after three years of lies and manipulations. The people want substance.
So the question today is: what are we Christians to do if we are to win against our enemies and be the encouragers God wants us to be?
So … how do we Abide Above?
First we must seek those things which are Above, and set our affection on those things that are Above … not on the things of the earth.
This can only be found in God’s Word and accomplished through the leading of the Holy Spirit.
This is confusing because most of us don’t have any idea regarding those things which are above, from a human perspective.
And our natural tendency is to approach everything from a natural or human perspective rather than spiritual.
So as a result, what are we most likely to do?
We focus on the things of the earth. We are likely to turn on the TV; or go surfing on Facebook.
This past month, I have been reading a book about heaven. I have learned much that I never knew about the things of heaven.
This is how we seek those things which are above. We read about what God’s Word says about them, we meditate on these things, we pray about them, and we set our affection on those things; rather than the things of the world.
The world would convince us of the opposite; that we need to buy things we cannot afford, with money we do not have. Then, we will have something to get stressed out over, and to worry about.
Where is your mind focused, most of the time?
Would you like to be encouraged?
Would you like to be an encourager to everyone that you come into contact with?
That’s easy … change your focus.
Let your mind dwell on these things:
whatever is true …
whatever is honorable …
whatever is right …
whatever is pure …
whatever is lovely …
whatever is of good repute …
if there is any excellence …
and if anything worthy of praise …
dwell on these things …
the things you have learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me …
practice these things …
and the God of peace will be with you.
This is it my friends: Abide Above!
All of these the things are from above.
When you meditate on these things or let your mind dwell or focus on these things … you will be encouraged, and then you will be an encourager, and a source of encouragement to everyone you come into contact with.
Others will be drawn to you like a magnet. Why?
God’s Grace, Hope, Peace and Joy are what everyone wants and needs.
Christ and His Word and the things above are one and the same. If we want to seek those things which are above, we must meditate, focus, and set our affections on Christ and His Word, not on the things or problems of this world.
For you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
This is where we find hope and change and encouragement.
Meditate on the good news of Christ.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle [spirit] be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7
Everything else is dissipation.
God bless you my friends, Bob
Recommended reading: Heaven by Randy Alcorn